Effects of thermal treatments on characteristics and morphological variations in the deposits of urea-SCR systems

Sadashiva Prabhu S, Kapilan Natesan, Nagaraj Shivappa Nayak

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems are employed by automobile manufacturers for the abatement of environmental pollutants like oxides of nitrogen (NOx) emitted from exhaust gases of diesel engines. In SCR, the urea-water solution (UWS) is injected to exhaust gases in the form of a spray to generate the reducing agent NH3. Deposit formation at lower temperatures is a major concern with this technology. The deposits not only create backpressure but also leak NH3 to the environment as they deplete. It is very important to know the depletion characteristics of deposits formed at lower temperatures in order to assess the NH3 leakage to the environment when the engine exhaust gases attain higher temperatures. In the present work, deposits formed at a low-temperature range of 150–200°C for continuous run along with UWS injection were investigated. Additionally, they were aged at 300°C in the absence of UWS to check the variation in characteristics with the rise of temperature. By gravimetric analysis, it is inferred that the deposits formed at higher pre-age temperatures are less prone to depletion as the temperature increases. The elemental analysis using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX) indicates slight variation in carbon, nitrogen and oxygen compositions for all the pre-age conditions. As an extended study, the byproducts at pre-age and post-age conditions were investigated through X-ray diffraction (XRD). The compounds like cyanuric acid (CYA) and biuret were not observed when pre-age samples were aged at 300°C. Instead, the compounds like ammelide, ammeline, triuret and melamine were observed. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) study revealed morphological changes in both pre-age and post-age samples. Further, the crystallinity variations were also observed for the changes in the heating cycles during deposit formation. The gravimetric analysis of deposits in pre-age and post-age conditions helps in predicting the amount of deposits for transient load cycles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56711-56726
Number of pages16
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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